Raised in Dallas, Volk purchased his first camera, a Leica IIIc, on January 3, 1950 during a gap year in Europe, and over the next 62 years he amassed a collection of small pleasures, many of them found right in our backyard.
|Dallas photographer Leonard Volk.|
In order to restore color slides from the '50s and '60s which had oxidized with age, he learned to use Photoshop in 1996, and about ten years later had fully and enthusiastically transitioned to digital shooting, editing and storage. "I would never go back," he says about more traditional technology. "For me [digital] is the way."
With new time and energy to direct to his photography, but little experience in exhibiting, Volk has penned a book, everyday, which he considers his most significant "exhibition" to date. Combining essays on the art of photography, as well as memoirs of his international travels and life in Dallas, everyday is, in Volk's own words, "an open letter to beginning and casual photographers, challenging them to try for more than a snapshot."
The challenge, he says, is to create their own inspiration, to photograph things that only they know are important in a way that only they can see matters. The challenge of visually and emotionally moving photography is finding that for which only the individual photographer knows to look.
|Monmartre Steps Down|
For Volk, photography is a poem, capturing the imagination and allowing a viewer to construct a narrative built on layers of personal experience. Like with architecture -- which he considers photography's cousin -- one must "get the bones right, then enjoy the textures, contrasts, key details, and relationships among the parts. Make the unseen count by awareness, study, and understanding."
Leonard Volk's everyday opens with a book signing on August 14 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Samuel Lynne Galleries. Visit samuellynne.com for more details.